Wallenpaupack Area High School: A Partnership with the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance for CTE/STEAM-Based After School Program

Posted on Categories Career Development & Postsecondary Prep


Wallenpaupack Area High School has embarked on an innovative partnership with the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance to create a unique program aimed at recruiting high school students enrolled in their Career and Technical Education (CTE) Child Care Program. This collaboration focuses on engaging these students as teacher assistants in the Alliance’s after-school STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program, designed for elementary and middle school students. The initiative provides invaluable real-life experience for aspiring teachers and early childhood education providers, fostering professional growth and development.

Program Overview


The primary objectives of this partnership are:

  1. Enhance Practical Experience: Provide high school students with hands-on experience in a real-world educational setting, enhancing their understanding and skills in teaching and child care.
  2. Support STEAM Education: Support the development of elementary and middle school students by offering high-quality after-school programs that emphasize STEAM education.
  3. Career Preparation: Prepare students for future careers in teaching and early childhood education by offering relevant and meaningful work experiences.


The program operates as follows:

  1. Recruitment and Training: High school students from Wallenpaupack Area High School’s CTE Child Care Program are recruited and provided with specialized training to become effective teacher assistants. This training includes classroom management, lesson planning, and STEAM-based activity facilitation.
  2. After-School Program Participation: Once trained, students assist in the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance’s after-school programs, working directly with elementary and middle school students. Their responsibilities include helping to plan and execute STEAM activities, providing academic support, and fostering a positive learning environment.
  3. Mentorship and Support: Throughout their participation, high school students receive ongoing mentorship and support from experienced educators and Alliance staff, ensuring they have the guidance needed to succeed in their roles.

About Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance

The Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance serves as an organization that identifies, creates, and provides educational opportunities that build the area’s workforce and support lifelong learning. The Alliance acts as the “people” part of economic development and takes a united and holistic approach to delivering services, drawing on the strength of shared knowledge and action.

The SHINE After-School Program

The SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) program is a community grassroots effort to increase educational opportunities for children and families in Wayne and Pike Counties. Having an after-school program offering STEAM enrichment is a valuable opportunity for children to engage in hands-on learning experiences. STEAM education is a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on STEAM subjects to foster creativity, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking.


Benefits of the Partnership —

For High School Students

  • Real-World Experience: Students gain practical experience that complements their academic learning, helping them to better understand the demands and rewards of a career in education.
  • Skill Development: The program helps students develop essential skills such as communication, leadership, problem-solving, and creativity.
  • Career Insight: By working closely with younger students and experienced educators, participants gain valuable insights into the field of education, helping them make informed career choices.

For Elementary and Middle School Students

  • Enhanced Learning: The presence of enthusiastic and knowledgeable high school assistants enriches the learning environment and enhances the quality of the after-school program.
  • Role Models: High school students serve as positive role models, inspiring younger students to engage with STEAM subjects and consider future educational and career paths in these fields.

For the Community

  • Educational Support: The partnership supports the local community by providing high-quality educational programs that benefit both the students and their families.
  • Workforce Development: By preparing the next generation of educators, the program contributes to the development of a skilled workforce that can support the community’s educational needs in the future.


The collaboration between Wallenpaupack Area High School and the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance represents a forward-thinking approach to education and career development. By providing high school students with real-life experiences as teacher assistants in a STEAM-based after-school program, this partnership not only enhances the educational journey of the participants but also strengthens the community’s commitment to quality education. This innovative program stands as a model for how educational institutions and community organizations can work together to prepare students for successful futures in education.


Wallenpaupack Area High School

Child Care Program Teacher, Melissa Geisheimer

WPWA SHINE Director, Pantea Shademani